MLA Rice welcomes school upgrades and new buses for North Coast students

PRINCE RUPERT – North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice says students in several communities will benefit from safer, more efficient and comfortable schools thanks to $5.4 million in provincial funding for school upgrade projects.

“Kids will be learning in safer facilities because of this funding,” Rice said. “Our new government is hiring more teachers to get back to smaller class sizes, and is providing better supports in a variety of ways to make up for the previous government’s 16 year war on education.”

Three school districts in the riding will receive funding for capital projects:

  • The Central Coast School District (SD 49) will receive $432,000 from the School Enhancement Program to complete washroom upgrades at Bella Coola Elementary, and for washroom and safety upgrades at Sir Alexander Mackenzie Secondary in Hagensborg.
  • Haida Gwaii School District (SD 50) will receive $1,769,835 from the School Enhancement Fund for building envelope and retaining wall upgrades at Gudangaay Tlaats’gaa Naay Secondary School. The school will also receive $138,053 from Carbon Neutral Capital Program to install solar panels.
  • Haida Gwaii school district will also receive $467,357 from the School Bus Replacement Program for four replacement busses.
  • Prince Rupert School District (SD 52) will receive $1,130,000 from the School Enhancement Program for roofing, boiler and electrical upgrades at Prince Rupert Middle School.
  • In addition, the Annual Facilities Grant (AFG) funding will provide $296,372 to the Central Coast School District, $542,638 to the Haida Gwaii School District, and $666,723 to the Prince Rupert School District. The AFG flow annually for routing school maintenance costs.

MLA Rice pointed out that, despite funding going to Prince Rupert Middle School for upgrades, the Province still intends to replace it as soon as possible. “We’re still working with the School District to complete a plan for replacing the school. Until everything is in place, the old school needs to fix its deficiencies in order to keep operating.

The $198-million provincial investment under these programs is ensuring students have well-maintained learning environments and bus services that are safe, comfortable and efficient.

The provincial government has boosted school maintenance funding by more than $20 million over last year, and has increased the AFG for the first time since 2004/05. The increase in funding will help ensure that students, teachers and school district staff can focus their energy where it matters most – in the classroom.

Link to Provincial release: